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What do different "builds," same model have in common

Take the model number of a Dell desktop computer.  For example, Dell Optiplex 7010.  What defines the model number?  I am pretty certain that a model number offers "customizations" for the processor, memory, maybe graphics card.  It seems like there are multiple motherboards available, too.  I base that on the fact that there is more than one form factor attached to a motherboard. 

Maybe what ties all of the variations together is the chipset?  

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